High-Functioning Anxiety Treatment: Exploring Different Treatment Options

Do you worry about how you’ll be perceived by others? Are you always on the go and just call it “normal stress”? Do you feel like you are not good enough? Do you often need validation? Is your mind running through courses like “Can I fulfill this deadline?” “I hope I don’t get traffic.” “What if I get late for work?” “Is my mom going to be fine?” “Did I turn off that stove?”

Despite this constant stream of concerns, you always make it to your train on time, complete your task, and check off the things on your to-do list — all while keeping a calm demeanor.

If this sounds like you, you may have high-functioning anxiety, a condition in which you experience anxiety symptoms such as persistent sensations of dread, uneasiness, or concern while effectively managing all aspects of everyday life. Anxiety is common, but you must get your high-functioning anxiety treatment. But what is high-functioning anxiety?

What is High-Functioning Anxiety?

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders does not identify high-functioning anxiety. It is most often diagnosed as generalized anxiety disorder. According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), around 19% of individuals in the United States suffer from anxiety disorders.

The phrase “high-functioning anxiety” refers to persons who have anxiety symptoms while retaining a high degree of functionality in many parts of their lives. They are often effective in their job or other positions, yet they suffer from chronic stress, self-doubt, and the dread of failing to meet expectations. They are exceedingly uncomfortable on the inside and suffer from heavy self-criticism.

Understandably, this has to be addressed, but how can you recognize this issue before seeking high-functioning anxiety treatment?

High-Functioning Anxiety Symptoms

When you feel intense worry for more than 6 months, you have a generalized anxiety disorder. This lingering mood is intense and affects every aspect of your everyday existence.

These behaviors and emotions are where anxiousness can transform into high-functioning:

  • Worrying about things in advance
  • Extremes include spending long hours and going above and beyond to avoid mistakes.
  • Fear of disappointing others and unattainable high expectations might lead to unsatisfactory results.
  • Focusing on minor things creates a sense of safety and stability
  • Certain behaviors, such as anxious talking, playing with your hair, or cracking your knuckles.

Treatment for High-Functioning Anxiety 

Before we move on to high-functioning anxiety treatments, let’s check who is at risk and why.

People at Risk: 

  • Perfectionists: There is pressure to meet the unrealistic expectations that lead to chronic stress and anxiety. 
  • Type A Personality: This type of personality is characterized by ambition and a strong desire for achievement. An obsession with accomplishment and a desire to succeed at all times can result in persistent worry and tension.
  • High Stress Environments: If you are around people who demand a lot out of you, they can contribute to the development of high-functioning anxiety.
  • Family History: People who have a close relative with an anxiety illness may be more likely to develop high-functioning anxiety themselves due to a hereditary predisposition to anxiety symptoms.
  • Societal Expectations: People with high-functioning anxiety may push themselves to their limits because they are afraid they will not measure up to social expectations.

Treatment Options

High-functioning anxiety can lead to excessive self-criticism and fear of failure, finding it difficult to relax, hypervigilance, a tendency to worry, and a lot more- such effects disrupt functioning in daily life. Therefore, treatment is necessary. 

The most effective treatments for anxiety are pharmaceutical management, psychotherapy, or a combination of the two. Regardless of the professional therapies, managing high-functioning anxiety requires a series of lifestyle adjustments that will improve the therapy results. A person suffering from high-functioning anxiety can control their condition and relieve undesired symptoms with concentrated effort and perseverance.

  1. Medications: 

Psychiatrists, nurse practitioners, primary care doctors, and other healthcare professionals may prescribe medicines as a treatment for high-functioning anxiety. The drugs can boost feelings of calm by controlling certain chemicals in the brain. Prescribers may use trial and error to determine the most effective prescription. Therefore, those taking medication to relieve symptoms must be patient. In addition, patients should constantly notify their physician of any undesired side effects or concerns created by the medicine.


Therapy treatment for high-functioning anxiety disorders includes meeting with a therapist in a one-on-one, group, or family context to evaluate present difficulties and devise effective symptom-reduction tactics. The therapist will offer a treatment plan that includes the target symptoms, the treatments used in therapy, and the coping skills the client will learn along the way.

Types of Therapy:

Cognitive Behavior Therapy CBT

What is it? 

Positive patterns in one area can impact the others – this is the fundamental principle of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). Individuals may learn more adaptive coping mechanisms and become better able to recognize and question illogical or distorted beliefs via cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).

How does it work?

Understanding the interplay between one’s ideas, feelings, and actions is key to the efficacy of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). In therapy sessions, clients learn to recognize anxious thoughts as negative or distorted and to question them. To help clients build more balanced and realistic viewpoints, therapists examine the evidence for and against these ideas. 

In addition, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) uses behavioral strategies, such as progressive exposure to fearful situations, to assist people in facing and overcoming stimuli that cause anxiety. Reducing anxiety symptoms and improving general well-being are outcomes of collaborative goal-setting and homework assignments that provide clients with experience using new coping skills and methods in real-life circumstances. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) helps people develop resilience to future stresses and gives them the tools to actively manage their anxiety.

Benefits of CBT

  • By providing clients with actionable skills and techniques to cope with anxiety, CBT empowers them.
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is often goal-oriented and systematic. It emphasizes treating certain symptoms and attaining quantifiable results in a short amount of time, which, for many, means it’s a viable and effective therapeutic choice.
  • Individuals can learn to self-manage their anxiety with the help of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), which focuses on underlying patterns of thought and action.
  • Some of the many anxiety disorders that cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) can help with include phobias, social anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and generalized anxiety disorder.

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy

What is it? 

The core principle of acceptance and mindfulness-based cognitive behavioral therapy (ACT) is living in the now and accepting one’s experiences as they are. Instead of trying to control or repress one’s interior experiences, such as thoughts, feelings, and sensations, it stresses accepting them.

How does it work?

  • Cognitive Defusion: Adopting a step-back approach allows clients to better understand their ideas and feelings. Clients learn to de-escalate negative or painful ideas by seeing them as fleeting experiences rather than absolute realities.
  • Awareness of the Here and Now: Clients do mindfulness activities to cultivate awareness of the here and now and to establish a connection with their experiences as they transpire. Clients develop emotional resilience by reducing future concerns and ruminating on the past by focusing on the here and now.
  • Value Clarification and Action Commitment: Clients clarify their basic beliefs and establish objectives that align with them via guided inquiry, which leads to committed action. They establish a feeling of direction and purpose in their lives by committing to achieving their objectives, regardless of how uncomfortable or uncertain it can be.


  • Individuals report less psychological discomfort and more general well-being after engaging in acceptance and mindfulness practices for managing high-functioning anxiety.
  • ACT promotes more genuine and significant relationships by urging people to be more empathetic, accepting, and transparent with one another.
  • By learning to face adversity with acceptance and dedication to their principles, ACT practitioners build resilience to life’s obstacles and disappointments.

It is important to remember that social support can also be beneficial in the treatment of high-functioning anxiety. While it is not a replacement for professional or medical guidance, attending a support group for persons with high-functioning anxiety can help you connect with others who understand and can relate to your situation.

Manage High-Functioning Anxiety with Cast Centers

Worry is a normal part of life, but when it turns into anxiety, it can become overpowering, controlling our every action and suffocating our potential. However, there is hope. Recognizing that you need help is an important first step toward regaining control of your life. Cast Centers understands the crippling effects of high-functioning anxiety and provides compassionate, effective high-functioning anxiety treatment in Los Angeles, California.

Do not allow worry to deprive you of the life you deserve. Cast Centers can help you take the bold step toward healing and recovering your life. You are not alone, and by working together, we can overcome high-functioning anxiety and reclaim the pleasure of living life to the fullest.

Text Us At : (424) 302-2598